|I was accepted into the medical program at St Martinus University in Curacao. Before my arrival, I was told I had to submit a $1, 000 down payment in order to secure a spot. I was assured that this deposit was refundable. I went down to the school to check it out and make sure it was the right choice. Shortly after I arrived I realized that the Island was not what I thought, nor was it as it was represented to me (particularly through their website). I felt very unsafe and after a bit of research it became clear that this was not the place for me. I left and returned to Canada, and a month later the school finally answered my email stating that I would not get the refund back. The email is below: |
We understand that you will not be attending St. Martinus University this year, but as per the admissions policy, the $1, 000 seat deposits are non-refundable. However, if you are interested in attending in January 2012, please let us know and we will reserve your seat.
Thank you again for your interest in St. Martinus University Faculty of Medicine and we hope to see you in 2012.
However, the policy in question states that "A seat reservation fee is a one time non-refundable fee of $1000 US and will be deducted from the cost of tuition upon attending." Since I never attended the University, (Ie., I just visited the Island and withdrew my application before school even began) the money should be refunded in full. In my correspondence with the school, I was assured this was the case. I have yet to hear back from this institution, but I intend to take this matter to court and will sue for how the school has misrepresented themselves, particularly on their website they state that Curacao has one of the lowest crime rates in the Caribbean per capita (http://www.martinus.edu/why-SMUFOM.html). This however is completely false, and statistics can be found online to counter this claim (such as here NewsHour Extra: Student Voice | Neelam from Curacao Reveals Details About Her Island Nation | April 17, 2009 | PBS, or here NETHERLANDS ANTILLES DEVELOPMENT PROFILE).
To be clear, I never attended the school, and therefore am entitled to a complete refund of the deposit I submitted as stated by there staff and by the policy in question that is supposedly preventing me from getting my deposit back. Their willingness to steal my money truly shows how desperate this school is for cash, which reaffirms my decision to not attend. This pathetic display won't go unnoticed, and I hope other students don't have to go through the same thing. If anyone wants any information, feel free to contact me.